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What is the Instapundit? Will you be assimilated?

What is Instapundit?

If you don't follow blogs: Instapundit.com is a very popular weblog produced by a law professor from Tennessee.

If you do follow blogs, you know who he is, but you may find yourself wondering why he is so popular.

If you follow blogs and news from East Asia, you may also wonder why a guy who seems to be quite smart when it comes to many other things doesn't really seem to get this part of the world.

Danwei asked Tennesse Ruck, a China-based blogger from Tennessee, to give us the dope on Instapundit:


How do I explain Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit?

I was asked this question because I am from Tennesse, and a member of The Rocky Top Brigade, of which the Blogfather is also a member. Truth be told, I'm an unlikely candidate for the job. I've never laid eyes on the guy and became acquainted with him on the other end of the rabbit hole in a land called China. Although there is one degree of separation between yours truly and the biggest traffic generator known to man, I have never enjoyed an Instalanche (an explosion of hits caused by a link on Instapundit's site). As the Highest of Higher Beings of N.Z. Bear's Ecosystem, he hasn't had time for this Flappy Bird.

What do I think of him? I don't think much. When I first started reading different weblogs I would check in on him periodically, but in the last 8 months I haven't stopped by his site that often. So to make up for my lack of information on this topic, I asked a couple of people who knew better than I.

Adam Groves, a conservative student at the University of Tennessee where Reynolds teaches law avoided any personal observations but sent me a few links: 1, 2, 3.

Then I got a response from one of his former law students, Brian Arner of Resonance.

I think if you sample his blog for just a few days you get a pretty good feel for it, as he's fairly consistent. I think the reasons he's grown so popular are:

(1) Longevity--he's been blogging since 2001.
(2) Volume--frequent updates.
(3) Networking--has emerged as a blog "hub."
(4) Viewpoint--His neocon views are popular among conservatives.

Incidentally, I had a class from Mr. Reynolds in law school. He's a pretty funny guy. Didn't exactly come across the same way he does in the blog. Of course we didn't have the occasion to discuss much foreign policy in administrative law.

Although Instapundit has been accused of ignoring Asia, he does have several Asian-content bloggers on his blogroll including Andrea See, Fried Man, and of course The Gweilo Diaries.

Conrad of The Gweilo Diaries answered an e-mail and some questions I had regarding the blogfather.

My first link on Instapundit was to something that I posted which was then linked to on another site, where Reynolds presumably saw it. As I recall, my site was only a couple of months old then and still hosted on Blogspot. He's linked to specific posts of mine a half-dozen or so times thereafter (which each time generates significant short-term traffic and a small increase in repeat readership). The Gweilo Diaries was added to Instapundit's permanent blogroll after a few of the specific links. I have corresponded with Reynolds on just a couple of occasions and have also sent him unsolicited links to things I either thought might be of interest to him or which I thought merited wider notice (because if it appears on Instapundit, it gets noticed), some of which he has used and others not. As for whether he, as you put it, "gets Asia" -- I'm not aware of any significant misconceptions in his writings, but my gut impression is that it isn't one of the subjects (unlike, say, the Second Amendment, nano-technology or space exploration) regarding which he is especially interested.

Others don't have such a high opinion of Reynolds.

One blogger who asked not to be identified said "If I were to describe him I would say he's the most annoying blogger who won't ever go away."

Others, like Frank J. of IMAO and the anti-Glenn Alliance (Instapundo Delenda Est) "mock Glenn as a way to gain attention."

Glenn puts puppies in blenders and drinks them; Glenn murders hobos for fun; Glenn worships Satan; Glenn is a communist spy who does the robot dance; Glenn punched Frank J.

Others post about him hoping to generate an Instapundit link.

- Tennessee Ruck


Thanks for the fish fellows, now go visit Tennessee Ruck at Voluntarily in China. If you want to stay on topic (media and advertising in China), have a look at this post about breakfast cereal marketing in China.

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